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Will API and EIA US Crude Oil Inventories Mirror Each Other?

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Nov. 20 2020, Updated 10:54 a.m. ET

API crude oil inventories  

The API (American Petroleum Institute) released its weekly crude oil inventory report on May 3. The US industry group estimated that US crude oil inventories rose by 1.3 MMbbls (million barrels) between April 22 and April 29. The API added that Cushing crude oil inventories rose by 0.382 MMbbls for the same period. Genscape reported that Cushing crude oil inventories rose by 821,969 barrels. Bloomberg estimates suggest Cushing crude oil stocks rose by 1.3 MMbbls for the same period. To learn more about Cushing crude oil stocks, read Cushing Crude Oil Stocks: Largest Build since December 2015.

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EIA’s crude oil inventories 

Traders will closely watch the API data, which is followed by the EIA’s (U.S. Energy Information Administration) weekly crude oil inventory report today. The government agency reported that nationwide crude oil inventories rose by 2 MMbbls (million barrels) to 540.6 MMbbls for the week ending April 22, 2016, versus the previous week. This was the highest US crude oil inventory in history. US crude oil inventories are more than 100 MMbbls above their five-year average.

Crude oil inventory estimates and impact  

Bloomberg surveys project that US crude oil inventories had risen by 0.750 MMbbls for the week ended April 29 compared to the previous week. Reuter’s survey suggests that US crude oil inventories rose by 1.7 MMbbls for the same period. It suggests US crude oil inventories had risen for four consecutive weeks. The record US crude oil inventory and the estimates of increasing US crude oil stocks could pressure crude oil prices.

Lower crude oil prices impact crude oil producers such as Swift Energy (SFY), Ultra Petroleum (UPL), Whiting Petroleum (WLL), and Carrizo Oil & Gas (CRZO). For more information on US energy companies’ financial woes, read North American Oil and Gas Producers’ Debt Rose in 2015 and Crude Oil’s Total Cost of Production Impacts Major Oil Producers.

ETFs and ETNs like the ProShares UltraShort Bloomberg Crude Oil ETF (SCO), the VelocityShares 3x Long Crude Oil ETN (UWTI), the Direxion Daily Energy Bear 3X ETF (ERY), and the United States Brent Oil ETF (BNO) are affected by volatile crude oil prices.

In the next part of this series, we’ll take a look at gasoline and distillate inventories.

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